April 8, 2010 by David Gillaspie
A neighbor stopped by the B&B for a cup of coffee last week. They brought a copy of a newspaper article. They also brought some attitude.
“Northwest Portland physician Mark Crislip, an infectious disease specialist, needs an appointment with a naturopath. In a recent Portland Tribune story, Peter Korn’s ‘Paging Dr. Alternative’, Crislip explains the difference between medical doctors and naturopathic doctors:
“Their (naturopaths) primary curriculum is based on magic,” he says.
If Dr. Crislip is the point man for MDs regarding naturopathic medicine, they might want to find someone less feverish.
One board certified, state licensed, health-care provider degrading other board certified, state licensed health-care providers does little to improve health-care in general, and smears all medical doctors equally.
The Harry Potter School of Medicine is not the accredited institution issuing naturopathic degrees in America. The faith-healer in the grainy middle school films massaging a patient’s abdomen and removing tumors, or chicken giblets, is not a naturopathic doctor.
Naturopaths don’t order potions and fairy dust from The House of Merlin.
They take blood samples and send them to the local labs; they don’t use a crystal ball to read the results. They send patients out for x-rays; they don’t spread tea leaves to interpret the results. They focus on their patients instead of a computer screen; they don’t sacrifice a lamb and study the entrails for a clear diagnosis of health issues, or consult the Oracle of Delphi.
Is there magic in healthcare? What else can you call a CT scan, PET scan, MRI, or even an x-ray. Seeing through a body even sounds magical, let alone seeing different depths in the body. Even Superman with his special vision thinks it’s magic.
Since Mark Crislip speaks against naturopathic doctors in such shrill, hysterical terms, can he be speaking for all MDs?
Are his alarming words designed to focus attention away from his field of medicine? If so, he is too late to the game. The era of health-care reform has already lifted the curtain on modern medicine.
A recent Newsweek story, This Won’t Hurt A Bit, cites the Rand Corporation / The Milbank Quarterly, William Weintraub, and the Christiana Center for Outcomes Research for their numbers in listing what they called “pointless procedures.”
“$33.3 billion for gratuitous medical imaging, CT, MRI, PET scans;; $11.1 billion for ineffective spinal surgeries; $2 billion for unnecessary angioplasty with or without stents; $1.1 billion for inappropriate hysterectomies; $550 million for needless antibiotics for viral infections.”
Is this the tip of a financial iceberg, or something else?
Author Sharon Begley writes that most in the medical industry worked to keep health-care reform from exploding. Big Pharma agreed to give up $80 billion in revenue over the next decade. Hospitals agreed to cut $155 billion.
The American Medical Association “pledged to support health-care reform only if its members’ incomes didn’t take a hit.”
Dr. Howard Brody at the University of Texas Medical Branch says, “doctors rip off the system with inappropriate care.”
Dr. Elliot Fisher of Dartmouth Medical School estimates that unnecessary care kills 30,000 Americans each year, a figure that includes only Medicare patients.
These doctors stand up and speak to health-care reform in terms of money and lives, lots of money and lots of lives.
Peter Korn quotes Kimball Atwood, a Boston-area anesthesiologist, “Any MD looking at that would go ‘Oh my god, who would do that,’” regarding naturopathic doctors prescribing colchicine for back pain that resulted in three deaths.
According to Mr. Korn, a Portland physician working alongside naturopaths prescribed the drug that led to the deaths. The cause was a bad batch of the drug, not bad doctoring.
The next time you feel like you need medical attention, ask yourself a few questions: Is there a doctor in town? If there is, when can I get in to see them? Use an informed opinion before you make your decision.
If you happen to find an infectious disease specialist working on the cure for wheat germ, keep looking.